A farm organisation has rejected a proposal which would see the introduction of twice-yearly TB testing on all herds - including those that are TB-free.
Speaking about the proposal, which Parliament will vote on next month, ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chair Hugh Farrell, said: “This would cause a mutiny; it is the most outrageous suggestion I’ve ever heard.”
“Every farmer would have to down tools and outright refuse to cooperate with the Department causing a further strain on relations between farmers and Department officials.”
He believes that it is critical that Irish politicians and MEPs mount a “vigorous campaign to ensure this ludicrous suggestion never sees the light of day”.
“However, I am very annoyed that this plan has not been communicated to us by the Department.”
“It is vital that the Minister immediately outlines what he has done to ensure that Europe understands that this proposal is unworkable and utterly over the top,” Farrell added.
He said that farmers will be incensed, adding that they already contribute to the TB eradication Programme in terms of paid testing and levies as well as “several days of unpaid labour”.
96% of herds TB-free
“Over 96% of herds are TB clear. Many have been clear for years. What possible use is it putting all of these herds to the incredible expense, inconvenience and stress of totally unnecessary extra testing?”
“There is also, the fact that TB testing is very stressful on animals and at a time when animal welfare is paramount, it is unconscionable to be wasting time and money on the herds that have no TB issues.”
‘Revolt against this’
The farm organisation stated that it will be focusing on rejecting this proposal “unequivocally”.
“Farmers will revolt against this; this has the potential to bring down a government. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.” he concluded.